Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Jack

These days it seems like many celebrities are trying to cash in on different forms of media. Actors who start off in movies try their hands at releasing CDs and singers attempt to act on the big screen or in TV shows. This trend has worked for a select few. Thinking back, it is hard to remember, for example, if Jennifer Lopez started out as a singer or an actress, regardless of whether you like her music or movies. This trend has continued with the younger generation of stars, including Miley Cyrus, who seems to be just about everywhere these days.

One thing that I find very interesting and commendable is the way Jack's Mannequin singer Andrew McMahon has integrated himself into both forms of media. Rather than acting, he has released a documentary titled Dear Jack about his struggle with leukemia. It integrates music, film, and touching life experiences in one.

The documentary follows him as he writes and records music while battling leukemia in his personal life. The film has been shown in select theaters across the country and is also available for purchase on iTunes. Turning his experience with leukemia and the beginning of his music career with Jack's Mannequin into a documentary is a unique way for an already established artist to integrate different media into one, while at the same time showcasing a personal and heartfelt work.

Lackluster On Star

In the wake of Tiger Woods’ accident there are many speculations as to what happened, why it occurred and what will happen next. People wonder what caused the incident but all I could think of was how unlike his advertisement the entire event was.

A while back Tiger was in an ad which showed how helpful On Star could be in a crisis. He was locked out of his car and was about to take a golf club to the window when he finds that On Star is able to unlock his car without all the mess. Fast forward to now when he is trapped in his car after hitting a tree and hydrant, what is the solution for getting someone out of their car? Having one’s wife smash out the windows with his gold club.

Not to say that the event will promote the strength of the golf club but it does show the commitment of his model wife’s determination and handiness with a driver. And where was the trusty On Star during the debacle? Despite airbags deploying and traveling speeds over 30 mph, the company that is supposed to be there for you was less than helpful in Tiger’s incident. So despite all of the ads Buick uses to promote On Star, I think that I have a lack of faith in the product since they were not so quick with their response in Tiger’s time of need.

The Mixtape Weezy

The mixtape king is back at it again. Lil’ Wayne has dominated music charts and influenced pop culture more than any artist over the past 5 years. His deep raspy and raunchy voice combined with his wit and extensive vocabulary within his lyrics has propelled him into a Grammy award winning rap star. There is no subject off topic for the peculiar rapper with songs varying from politics to sex. The New Orleans native has become a house hold name. His fans are extremely diverse from old to young from white to black. Although, his fans might differ in appearance they all have one thing in common; they adore and praise his talent. Just like his hero Jay-Z Wayne also chooses not to write any of his lyrics down on paper but instead recites all off the top of his head. Besides selling millions upon millions of records Lil’ Wayne likes to occasionally distribute free music. Yes, I said “FREE MUSIC”. He has been doing this for quite sometime now and I must say some of the music he puts out for free is better than what is on his actual album. His latest mixtape is another classic titled, No Ceilings. If you want a copy just let me know. It’s FREE anyway and if you like rap and any of the current hip-hop songs on the radio than you will like this mixtape because Wayne kills the beat.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Woodson Giving Back

Charles Woodson, defensive back for the Green Bay Packers, is having one of the best seasons of his career this year.  However, he wants to be known for something other than football when he retires.  He did this by donating $2-million to the new University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital.  The announcement came right before the Packers played the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, where Woodson had 2 interceptions, a forced fumble, and a sack.  Woodson's donation will go towards pediatric research for the new hospital that is scheduled to open in 2012.  Very little of the national budget goes towards this fund, so the donation will be very helpful.  It's good to see that there are still celebrities out there that still care about someone other than themselves. 

chelsea lately

Even though I love watching this show because of the improvised jokes, it's just unbelievable to try and avoid the many racial and stereotypical topics she brings up on the air. There was one episode where she had Lamar Odom and Kloe Kardashian to she show, who got married after one month of dating, and she kept pointing out how people say "when you go black you never go back" and she jokingly said "when you go black you go running back!" there are many more comments like and also about gay people that just got me thinking how no one is saying anything about it? I mean do African American people and gays think its funny? I guess that all makes good TV because last season was the highest season she had ever gotten. It's just like we read in our Media Society book, the media just portrays the norm to be white middle class American and everything else is just a comparison! I think it's sad that after all these years people still view this sensitive topic like that!

Straight Cash Homey

The post about the Wal-Mart shopper website reminded me of one of my brother’s favorite websites, Straight Cash Homey. This website is completely devoted to random jersey sightings. Users post pictures they have taken of people wearing funny/out-of-date sports jersey’s with funny captions. It has become my brother’s dream to one day get on this sight wearing his Detroit Lions Jason Hanson jersey. This website is definitely good for some laughs while you walk down memory lane seeing jersey’s of players you forgot played for particular teams or even played at all. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have time to devote to websites like this. One of my favorite parts of the website is the origin of the name. It comes from a great Randy Moss interview. When asked how he paid his bills and other expenses, after claiming he had never written a check in his life, Moss replied “straight cash, homey.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christian Side Hug

A friend from my high school posted the weirdest link, article and video I have ever seeen, on Facebook. I often go through the link section on Facebook because my friends usually have interesting things they find on Youtube, and I can even see what music my friends are into currently, and perhaps find my new favorite band. This is the link that my friend posetd. It is an article discussing the 'Christian Side Hug' and a actual hip-hop video about the Christian side hug. This side hug is to prevent any frontal touching, which this article makes seem like some sort of sin. Although everybody had their own beliefs, I personally believe this is quite hilarious, weird, but believable. The rap group is what really got me. To choose to talk about a Christian side hug through gangster hip-hop style music is like Disney producing the movie SAW. It makes NO SENSE. However, I bet that the creators and the group thought with the power and popularity of hip hop today, this would be a great way to spread the message about a side hug. I cannot imagine kids who like hip hop digging this. Isn't hip hop about the lyrics, raps and stories being told? I don't think the music genre is as much about the beats as it is about the lyrics. In my Race and Ethnicity JMC course we are currently studying the hip hop images. Many articles discuss how hip hop carries a tough urban image because that is the persona that the genre feels they need to potray to survive and not show weakness. Ultimatley this tells me hip hop is about not being vunerable, taking risks, and living life on the edge, tough and fearless. However, that is not what a side hug is about. Maybe kids like this sort of video. Maybe the side hug is a good thing. Maybe hugs are too sexual. Either way, I believe this shows how popular and powerful people see hip hop as, to make a rap video about a side hug.

:::Adam Lambert Steams Things Up:::

Adam Lambert's performance at last week's American Music Awards has stirred up quite the talk throughout the media and public. For those of you like me who have no idea who this guy is, he is yet another American Idol superstar. His performance of his hit single "For Your Entertainment" caused quite the controversy with his wild and "risque" dance routine. After simulating oral sex with one of the dancers onstage he then kissed a male keyboard player. Deja vu? Brittney Spears and Madonna shared their own bit of a little public tongue action at the Video Music Awards. Though the "lipstick lesbian act" as it has been referred to, did receive its share of public criticism, it was not removed from public television. Lambert's kiss was blurred out by CBS. I think this is discriminatory against the fact that Lambert is a gay male. Why should two infamous female pop singers share a moment of heat for the world to see, yet a man who does the same is viewed and inappropriate and unsuitable for public television? I'm not arguing one way or the other as to whether or not either one should have been aired, but the decision should be made with some consistency.

*Unfortunately, the videos have been removed from youtube.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Black Friday"

As hard as it is to believe...Thanksgiving is all ready here. Personally, my family has a tradition of going up north for the week, getting away, and truly taking in the holiday spirit. Many other families traditions I have come to see include "Black Friday," the infamous day after thanksgiving when all major department stores have massive sales. My family and I have never taken part in this; which got me to thinking... why not? My usual stress on Thanksgiving was in regards to the food baby I would have, but this year, it is in regards to if I am properly prepared for the spending...the crowds...and the determined shoppers.

This is the first year when my mom, my aunt, and I are all preparing to go to the malls to join in with the crowds. Personally, I am not a fan of shopping; I could avoid a mall or major department store for years if I could. It is just funny to me to think of how crazy people go; waking up at 5 am to be there right as the store opens, front of the line, pined against the door. As hesitant as I am, I will be among the many crazed shoppers on Friday, wish me luck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wysteria Lane

I survived my first Sunday in three months without my favorite television show MadMen, which had its season finale two weeks ago. Fortunately there was an entertaining football game on NBC, concluding with a triumphant victory of the Indianapolis Colts over the New England Patriots.

Sunday’s the only day that I really watch TV, so I got back into watching ABC’s Desperate Housewives, a tongue in cheek, and wink of the eye look at suburban life on the fictional Wysteria Lane. MadMen it is not, but it makes up for quality with humor. It has one thing in common with MadMen, and that’s the popping up of an occasional Black actor, generally in the roll of a domestic at worse or some other service role at best. At least MadMen has an excuse – if you will – its time period. In a recent role, a Black character plays a motel maid who advises one of the shows characters, Bree, on the harm that her extramarital affair will cause. Wise? Maybe, but a domestic role nonetheless.

Oprah Winfrey says goodbye

After much consideration and prayer, Winfrey told fans today that her show would end in 2011. It’s been nearly a quarter-century since Oprah Winfrey’s debut. She is known for touching the hearts of her viewers, spectacular giveaways and a book club. She has an incredible fan base and is viewed by many as the queen of talk shows.

Winfrey didn’t go into detail about her decision but assured fans that she truly thought things through. She told fans that she loves the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” but knew when it was time to say goodbye.

Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and feels right in my spirit," She said

As a journalism student, Winfrey’s decision is bitter sweet to me. I can remember watching Winfrey, always inspired by her energy, ever since I was a little girl. I understand that at 55, it is time for her to make decisions about her future and her career, but I pray that her plan includes an active role in network television.

Winfrey has always been a talk show favorite, but it was reported that in the last year her ratings slipped 7 percent. Maybe Winfrey’s decision is a wise one and that old saying is true.

It’s better to bow out gracefully on your own terms than to wait for your fans to tell you when you’re done.

Winfrey said she was excited for upcoming shows and promised that her final season would knock our socks off.

Best of luck to the talk show diva!

Letters to Santa

I didn't even know that there was a designated place in Alaska that you could actually send letters to Santa. I was in the fitness center this morning when I heard about Santa reading letters in Alaska.

I would have loved to send my letters to an actual address, but I guess the letter business needs some saving. "The group is looking to counter a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to end a program begun in 1954 in the small town of North Pole, where volunteers respond to thousands of letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole" each year," statement from Associated Press (AK volunteers strive to save Santa letter service).
Why would the postal service want to end the program when that helps the sales for a US government operated service. I heard that the US Postal Service is being hit hard by the economy!

State of the Game

A friend of mine recently purchsed the new Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2. If you're not familiar with the series, it's pretty much top of the line in simulating the most intense war voence imaginable. I doubt he's stopped playing it since I last saw him. The impressive visual qualities and amazing details that have made their way into this gam really got me thinking. The progress of video games in my lifetime, specifically in recent years, has startled me to say the least. I used to be a pretty avid gamer back when I was in middle school. It's fair to say they were a pretty big part of my life back then. Not long after, I fell out of them completely though, and I haven't really looked back. Until recentl,y when I've gotten a glimpse of just how far they've come, since I've stopped playing. It's remarkable if you think abot it. We've come from Pong in 1972, to games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 in only 37 years. The graphics and features of games today would of hardly been imaginable just a few decades ago. it really makes me wonder just how far they will go. The market certainly isn't going anywhere, so I don't thinkthe progress is either. What will games be like near the end of my lifetime? I can only imagine.

Oprah Calls it Quits

It is apparently the hottest news right now. Oprah Winfrey announced that she will be ending her show in 2011 after 25 years on air. Her show has become a multibillion dollar powerhouse since it first aired in 1986. Oprah plans to be done after finishing 25 seasons. And she always said that she would end the show when people wanted more, not when people were getting sick of it.

In Oprah's 24th season, it was opened with a HUGE performance. There were more than 20,000 people collected Chicago's Magnificent Mile for a block party. The Black Eyed Peas sang their song, I Gotta Feeling, changing the lyrics to correspond with the Oprah and the the crowd choreographed a dance to surprise Oprah. If you didn't see it, it was absolutely incredible. Actually when I watched it I got goosebumps. I think this performance in itself proves that her audience wants more.

She said her 25th and final season will "knock your socks off". She plans to make her last season a season everyone will remember.

Oprah's media power is unreal. Forbes recently scored her net worth at 2.7 billion dollars. She has Harpo studios, the Oprah magazine and her most well known talk show. She is perfect example of big media, and for her to end her show will be a big loss in terms of media and audience.

Oprah to end talk show

The massively successful Oprah Winfrey Show will come to an end on September 9th, 2011, according to a Winfrey spokesperson.

Winfrey is expected to give the announcement during today's live show.

2011 will mark the 25th year of Oprah's show, and she just feels it is her time to stop.

Oprah's show has been the number 1 ranked talk show for 23 consecutive seasons, an incredible number. Her show has set off the careers of Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and Suze Orman, and has been an important hub for the support of many big causes.

It will be interesting to see what show takes over Oprah's reigns as the top rated talk show. Middle-aged women everywhere will be scrambling to find a new show to watch. Perhaps Ellen DeGeneres' show will take over daytime talk.

One wonders if her big book club will continue, as she uses her show to highlight certain books that she reads for her club. One should also wonder what guests to her final show will receive as gifts. If you remember, she gave a car to every member in the audience several years back, and has made guest gift-giving an important part of the show.

Mr. Rogers

Ever since we watched Blue's Clues in class, I kept thinking about all the TV shows I wacthed when I was younger. Of course there were shows like Rugrats, Angry Beavers, and Out of the Box. Disney and Nickelodeon were always on in my house. There was one show though that I watched almost everyday that was on PBS. That show was Mr. Rogers.

I recently was flipping through the channels during the afternoon and Mr. Rogers was on. I haven't seen this show since I was younger so I watched a bit of it to remind myself what it was all about.

Watching the show now was obviously a completely different experience than when I was 4 or 5. First of all, I was bored out of my mind. The show was so slow moving and Mr. Rogers said the same thing over and over and over again verrry slooowly. Secondly, Mr. Rogers can NOT sing; he is a terrible off-tune singer. I really don't know why he sings in every show. And thirdly, the puppet characters are really creepy looking. In fact, they're pretty scary. I'm surprised I wasn't afraid of them as a child.

Overall, the show is really different than children's shows that get produced now. It's a mystery to me what could have been appealing about the show to me as a child.

Oh, Etsy!

One of my new favorite obsessions is browsing the seemingly endless creative and handcrafted objects on This website offers mostly handmade objects from soaps, clothing, and art to $500 goat head puppets (what else could one possibly need in life?), as well as anything else a person could conceivably dream up.

The site is meticulously organized and ever-changing, as anyone with an account can sell their handmade (and sometimes vintage) items on etsy -- kind of like a DIY EBay, but more adorable. This site is proof of the proliferation of the DIY movement and is an important contribution to today's marketplace. At a time of increasing consciousness of the ethics of fair trade, this innovative website can find itself right at home. Many of the items offered are fair-trade made, vegan, and/or organic, etc. The site is also a great opportunity for even the smallest entrepreneurs and artists to make their products available to a world-wide audience.

Browsing and buying from the site also offers a great alternative to the run-of-the-mill holiday shopping to which everyone has grown so accustomed. Etsy offers items for men, women, children, and pets of any age and truly has something for everyone. I will be ordering many a gift there myself this holiday season (including handmade Guinness soap from Appleton, WI!). Whether you want to buy from local artist, acquire one-of-a-kind items, or just have a curiosity for the unusual, I highly encourage a trip to the etsy website. Be careful -- it might be difficult to steer away!

Know your autotune

In one of my other JMC classes, we're doing a study on viral media and what makes them so insanely popular. One of the presentations was on a series of YouTube posts entitled "Autotune the News."

For those of you who don't know what Autotuning is, it's basically what makes T-Pain sound like T-Pain. Apparently it was created by an oil miner in attempts to find underwater reserves for Exxon Mobile. Eventually it fell into the hands of the internet and exploded from there.

No, I didn't do a ton of research on this topic to find this all out. I just watched the Know Your Meme episode about autotuning.

For those who don't know what Know Your Meme is, it's a group of people who study, analyze and breakdown internet memes, crazy fads that become viral for bizarre reasons.

If you're wondering what the hell is up with that girl who just stares into the camera, the numa numa guy, or balloon boy, they tackle all these topics in an attempt to better understand how and why the stories came about and why we, as a culture, took time out of our lives to pay attention.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Opiate For The Masses

So it is finally here, what gamers have been waiting for, since the release of the previous Call of Duty 4: Moder Warfare. Since the announcement of the making of the new Modern Warfare 2, gamers all over the world have been shaking with anticipation, and the opening day launch of Modern Warfare 2 shows it.

In the first five days of Modern Warfare 2 being released the, most anticipated game of the decade, grossed $550 million. In the first 24 hours of being released, it had the most successful launch of all time. The game sold 4.7 million copies in the first 24 hours grossing $3.7 million. This is the most successful opening day for any piece of entertaining equipment. No other video game, record, or movie comes even close to this blockbuster sales.

Before Modern Warfare 2, the most successful release date was "The Dark Knight" which raked in $155 million at the box office during its opening weekend world wide. This does not even hold a candle to this behemoth of a video game. The most amazing thing is however, that numbers that have been relased for Modern Warfare so far, only accounts for the U.S. and U.K. The numbers from the rest of the globe have not even been accounted for yet.

With the numbers still trickling in from the rest of the world, it is hard to imagine the further success of this video game we will see in the next few weeks. What does this say about the world? As a whole we have blown over half a billion dollars for a game that promotes war, bloodshed, killing, every terrible and unjust thing one can think of, and the whole world cannot get enough of it. Let's hope the world keeps their grip on reality. In the world's delicate state that it is in, I don't think it could handle a gamer uprising.

New Moon

In Los Angeles this past week, the movie New Moon premiered. People were camping outside for days just to get a glimpse of their favorite Twilight and New Moon stars. My roommate who I lived with in LA this summer called me to inform me people were lining the streets and were all the way up to our apartment and around the block which is just 2 blocks from the theater where the premier was and I couldn't believe it, I didn't even know what it was for, and neither did she and she lives right there! When she found out it was for New Moon, I was not surprised and neither was she, because Twilight was and is such a hot commodity these days. I have never seen Twilight nor do I really plan to, but I am curious as to what all the hype is about. Is it just simply that Robert Pattinson is very good looking or is the movie actually good?

Tonight at midnight is when the movie actually comes out and I have never seen such craze over it. Theaters are also showing Twilight before the midnight showing of New Moon and many people are attending one after the other to get the full effect. I have seen a billion Facebook statuses that legitimately say "I can't focus too excited" "New Moon New Moon." I mean to me it's just crazy. As I watched the trailer I really had no clue what was going on, and have no interest in it, but it seems like it's going to be a big hit for the box offices this weekend. Here is the trailer if you have not yet seen it !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thank you Brandon Jennings!

The picture above is 20 year old, Milwaukee Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings.  He sure indeed is young and money when it comes to making plays on the basketball court. If you haven't heard this rookie stud is making quite the name for himself this year in the NBA. He was selected 10th overall in this years NBA draft by our home team the Milwaukee Bucks. Brandon is what you would call a trailblazer because when he graduated from high school in 2008 he took a less then traveled path by skipping college to play professionally in Europe. Brandon is a unique draft pick that spent the previous year playing professional basketball in Spain. The reason why is because he was not able to pass the entrance exam to Arizona University and he didn't meet the 19 year old age requirement to enter the NBA draft. 

So far the rookie sensation is averaging a team and rookie leading 25.5 points per game. Not only is he scoring the basketball efficiently, he also is averaging 5.5 assists per game. Another benefit to his great play is that he is shooting a blistering 53% from 3 point range which is ironic because scouts said he couldn't shoot. The highlight of the season so far is the 55 points he scored on November 14th against the Golden State Warriors. He didn't even score in the first quarter and he scored 29 points in the third quarter alone. The incredible performance set the Bucks rookie record for most points in a game by surpassing the legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

I guess you could say he is a savior to the our lackluster Milwaukee Bucks franchise and we must thank the basketball Gods for such a talented point guard and I want to thank Brandon Jennings himself for making me a Bucks fan again!

Become a "Stumbler!"

Have you stumbled lately? That is a question I am starting to hear more often with my friends. Sharing their stories about all the random facts they learn through the website: This website will have you occupied for hours, trust me! This is a site where you are asked some of your basic interests and then…you start stumbling! It allows its users to discover and then rate the web pages, photos, and videos they stumble across. It takes you to the most random of places on the Internet; from youtube, to MSNBC, to personalized websites, etc. It truly does enhance your interest in the Internet and all the crazy things put on. I can honestly say that I have read some funny things through stumble and seen some hilarious youtube videos. But rather than being all comedy, it can also have you stumble across rather interesting news pieces, different projects, and handy things to know on a day to day basis. It really is a good past time.

What People say.

As a story in the news breaks it seems that some people want to be on camera to tell people their thoughts. On Sunday November 15, 2009 a young boy’s body was found in a van in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Germantown. The next day the story broke and news vans were swarming around the Wal-Mart. One lady was quoted saying, "I was totally surprised that it was Germantown," said Linda Wentworth, a customer at the Walmart. "Then, when I saw it was our Walmart, I was amazed it happened here." (link) I feel that this lady had a good intent by saying she was surprised it happened by I feel her choice of words was not thoughtful. First referring to the Wal-Mart as “our Wal-Mart” was in a way calling it hers. Also, how can you be amazed it happened there? In my opinion amazed means something wonderful and beautiful not used in telling about someone’s death. When people are quoted saying things like this it makes me wonder if people who are quoted on the news are sometimes just after a chance to be on television. A video of the most up to date story as of 2:00pm November 17,2009 here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Noah's Christmas Wish

I will admit it, I love Facebook. I know there are many arguments against it, I know I spend more hours than I shouldn't on it, and I know it can be really creepy. However, I love it, and I love getting invited to events. Earlier this week I logged on and had an two event invites. One was for some Christian event/cause that I wouldn't attend, so I immediately disregarded it and the second was 'Noah's Christmas Wish' something that I assumed asked for money so I disregarded that one as well. However, I look at my feed and 36 of my friends are attending this event. I re-look over the event, and felt horribly guilty for even not reading the content of this event. Noah is a 5 year old boy who has had Neuroblastoma Cancer for 2 and a half years. Make a Wish seems to have gathered this event to make his one wish come true: to receive many Christmas cards. I never cry, I hate crying, I am a notorious hard ass. I was ready to ball after I read this. At five years old, his wish is Christmas cards. As if I didn't get chills when I read his cancer story, I was seriously touched by his humbleness. I know at 5 years old I would have asked my mom to buy Disney World. He asks for Christmas cards. His family is celebrating Christmas early, as they are unsure if he will be able to make it to Christmas Day. I want to cry now. His mom set up a care page for him, so read about him there. The family has received many cards, and has actually requested no more. Understandably, it is time to focus on Noah's health, after receiving an abundance of Christmas wishes. It's amazing that an event on Facebook turned out to grant a little boys wish and turn into something so powerful and touching.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Droid vs iphone

Over the years we have gone from large ridiculous looking cell phones that you could only make calls with(how lame was that) to small compact cell phones that let you pretty much do whatever you want. To me this is quite scary and to wonder what the future has in store for the cell phones almost seems unbelievable. What made me start thinking about this was the new Droid phone from Verizon and their campaign strategies targeted against the iphone. The new Droid phone has a lot of characteristics that the iphone has but in their commercial they point out the differences that make it “better.” My friend recently got the new Droid and although it might not be as sleek as an iphone the capabilities of this phone are insane. Although I do not have either of these phones I felt like I could relate to the Droid commercial since I have had the “privilege” to own an ipod (first gen.) I know the first ever ipod is a lot different than the new iphone but the people selling it are all the same. My experience with Macintosh was a bad one and with a brand snapping back in a very casual way puts a smile on my face. However, since I can’t really afford either all I can say to you guys are to research the Droid before coming committed to the iphone, it is rather fancy.

The iphone did however make a commercial reflecting their feelings on the Droid phone.

The League of Extraordinary Fantasy Gentleman

First off, let me just say that I have been a big fan of the television network FX over the past few years. With a recent track record of great shows like Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy, and it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I’m willing to give any new program that they feature a chance. That being said, I had mixed feelings when I started seeing previews for their newest show The League. I quickly gathered that it was a show that featured four guys and their obsession with Fantasy Football. I had a few reactions to this. First I wondered how they could take a premise that seems so thin and stretch it into a half-hour comedy series. I mean seriously, how many jokes can you make that follow the same basic archetype of “these are four typical modern males, who love football, beer, and themselves more than anything else in their lives?” Oh and “their wives can NEVER understand.” Second, it struck me that we’ve reached a point in television where you can make a show that revolves around pretty much anything. I watched the show and though it was actually pretty funny. I also came to one more conclusion. I always thought that caring about celebrities, tabloids, and all the drama that certain parts of the media force down your throat if you let them was a completely pathetic and pointless venture. I found myself comparing it to playing fantasy football and wondering is there anything different with that?


Last night the movie 2012 hit the theaters. This movie is supposed to be one of the biggest hits of the year. I am quite anxious to see this movie. For those of you who don't know what it is, although I am sure you do, it is the movie about how the world is going to end in the year 2012 based on the Mayan calendar, the calendar simply stops in the year 2012. Apparently the Mayans have been correct with all of their predictions so 2012 is something some are taking seriously while others think it’s bogus. Do you think this movie will scare people into believing that 2012 really is going to be the time when the world ends? Watch the trailer here

I have seen the trailer for the movie and it looks pretty intense, I'm not really sure what to make of it. The movie cost was over 200 million dollars to make, which is obviously a lot of money, but based on the trailer there are a ton of special effects and what not that play a large role in the movie. I wonder what other people think of this film or what people really believe will happen in 2012.

UFC Fighter Chad Ochocinco?

I talked about NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and his reality show life earlier in the semester. Evidently he wasn't getting enough attention and was bored with just playing football, so now there's talks of him fighting in a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fight. Ochocinco spent his Wednesday tweeting to current UFC president, Dana White, stating he wants to fight UFC's current middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. Here is the conversation between the two on Twitter:

Chad OchoCinco's tweets:
Dana this Ocho Cinco, I want to fight your #1 and #2 best fighters asap,exhibition to raise money for a charity of choice!!!!!!

matter of fact I want Anderson Spider Silva---please don't ignore me or you'll have to fight me yourself!!! Sincerely Esteban :)

Mr. White this a serious matter, we can help alot organazations with this fight, I have a good chance at winning against Silva

Awesome! I'm fighting Anderson Silva-I can't wait to throw my child please combo with a kiss da baby leg kick, Silva can shut the front door!

Dana White's tweets:
Perfect @OGOchoCinco. I need a Jan 2nd fight. Ocho Cinco vs Anderson Spider Silva. PS - I'm too old to fight anyone.

If you are really serious @OGOchoCinco, contact me. We'll put a fight together for charity.

@OGOchoCinco Follow me so I can send you my email

So it's not enough for Chad Ochocinco that he's having one of his best seasons in the NFL, he needs to prove himself in the ring as well. If the fight does happen, it's unlikely that Ochocinco will fight Anderson Silva because they would be in different weight classes. However, the media loves Ochocinco and really anything is possible with him.

Miss Teen USA contestant to commercial star

If you have not seen the video clip of Miss Teen USA: South Carolina's answer to the question: why can't most American's locate the US on a map. I did not see it live, but my boyfriend did show me the video on youtube on Tuesday after he spotted her on a commercial selling pistachios.

This commercial shows us that she is laughing with America. She pokes fun at herself by doing this commercial. Before she eats the pistachio she says that eating them will help Americans obtain maps and build a better future. These words were used during her Miss Teen USA answer that did not land! I appreciate her sense of humor and still think it's crazy that we have access to watch people's mistakes over and over again using venues like YouTube. It becomes hard to escape your mistakes, but Miss South Carolina finds a way to make it better.

Jimmy Kimbel did a skit to try to understand what she was trying to say. I didn't watch any of this until this Tuesday, so I think it is funny still.

Here is the Miss SC answering the question that made her famous!

Facebook: powerful alibi machine?

I got a nice kick out of this story about a teenager who used his Facebook status as an alibi in a mugging accusation against him.

Rodney Bradford updated his status around noon last month, just before a mugging occurred a few miles away. Bradford, who had already been accused of robbery in 2008, turned himself in to police, confident that his status update would be the perfect alibi.

A man actually picked Bradford out of a lineup and he was convicted of the robbery. But, Bradford's dad saw his son's Facebook status message and quickly realized it could be used as an alibi.

This is pretty sensational, in my opinion, that Facebook could be used as a an alibi in such a situation. I found it pretty funny that Facebook officials said they were "pleased they were "able to serve as a constructive part of the judicial process."

Bradford is also going to sue the city for damages from being arrested wrongfully and put in Rikes for nearly 2 weeks.

It's interesting to think that just a few years ago this kid may have been convicted of the mugging because there was no Facebook, no Internet, nothing to trace where he was. Oh, how times have changed.

Inside the NBA

While it has become common for studio sports analysis teams to have a revolving door of changing faces practically every season, the TNT NBA studio team of former players Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, and studio host Ernie Johnson has remained together for the past 9 years. The acclaimed FOX NFL pregame lost its studio host, James Brown to CBS last year. But even as Johnson recovered from cancer two years ago Inside the NBA kept its team intact.

Ernie is often the straight man to Chuck’s comedy and Kenny “the Jet” Smith plays both sides. The show balances serious game analysis with humor seamlessly. Chuck, Kenny and Ernie sometimes disagree with each other, but the disagreements don’t escalate into the contentiousness (sometimes staged) that you see on other sports shows.
It would be interesting to see what the post-game ratings are for TNT’s NBA games are; my guess is there are quite a few viewers who stay tuned to hear Chuck, Ernie and Kenny’s post game remarks.

The Irony of the Balloon Boy Fiasco

So Balloon Boy's father pleads guilty for making up this whole missing Balloon Boy fiasco to get some attention in the media. Though dad walks away with a felony and mom a misdemeanor, they seem to have more than accomplished their goal. They made up this story knowing they would get a minute in the spotlight, and instead they got a full MONTH. The media has had a field day covering every step of the story on Balloon Boy and his family, granting them the wish that initiated this whole scandal. I find it very ironic that though the parents were charged for actions they did to achieve this publicity, it is as a result of these actions and charges that they are receiving even more publicity than they had every imagined. Another thing I find interesting about the story is the fact that this boy’s disappearance received so much attention in the first place. I understand the circumstances were rather unique to start with, but it still received an obscene amount of media attention. All across the country the story was heard on the radio and television, posted all over the internet and in the papers, and was the topic of most conversations. So, Kudos to Balloon Boy’s parents. You have officially wasted endless amounts of media coverage that could have been used to focus on more important things happening in the world, but instead focused on you and your balloon.

Whatever happened to Thanksgiving?

Is it just me or is the Christmas season getting longer every year. On the channel I was watching the countdown to Christmas starts in a few days. Christmas decorations have been up at stores since before Halloween. I am waiting for radio stations to start playing Christmas songs 24/7. I feel the media is in part responsible for the Christmas moving forward every year. I would like to enjoy my holidays as they come up. It seems to me that Thanksgiving has in a way disappeared because it was overtaken by Christmas. Also, it seems that the same thing is slowly happening to Halloween. I want to go back in time to when life was simpler and holidays had there own specific time frame. Holidays didn’t just get taken over by other holidays and catalogues didn’t start coming out with decorations at least 2 month before the actual holiday.


With all our talk in class lately about how media represent culture in ways of race, gender, etc., it's interesting to me to see a show that (all-in-all) attempts to convey a middle-America setting, cast, and plot line.

Friday Night Lights has been my favorite show pretty much since it debuted back in late 2007.

The show takes place in a made up town in Texas and, in general, is about their high school football team. But in reality you only see about 3 minutes of a football game every two episodes. It's more about the emotions and dilemmas people are faced with in their lives.

The latest episode's most notable conflict came when the head coach wrote a large check without telling his wife. He at first lied about it, then came clean and they inevitably had a fight and eventually made up. The little things like this make this show hit so much closer to home than any other I have seen in quite some time.


Not only do the Mayans predict it and it has been prophesized through the Christian Bible, but now there is a movie that will emphasize was Nostradamus and others have predicted about the dreaded, end of the world! There have been many television shows, books and talk about when and how the world will end. Yes, it is so, that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and the world will crumble. Why is this so? Also, many prophesies through the Bible predict such ideas but in a more vague way. Now, a movie has been made with that exact idea, "2012". There is no fighting the bad guy,unless you want to refer to the bad guy as the world, or the sun, melting the Earth. It's like there is no escape and a select group of people will be taken into safe hands through the words of the Bible. They will live the disaster in a new place that people call Heaven.

What is ironic about this movie and has people talking, is it may not just be a movie to some people. Depending on your beliefs this may be a foreshadow of what is to come in years to come.

Media Influence

There are many outdated theories and communication models that label media as a negative force in society. One in particular is the Hypodermic model, also known as the silver bullet model. The flow of communication moves in one direction, from media to audience and implies that media directly injects its beliefs into the blood stream of audience members.

I found a video on YouTube, Kittens inspired by Kittens, that demonstrates an updated communication model in which communication is multi-directional. In the video, a young girl reads a book about kittens. She can’t actually read the words, but she draws her own meaning from the pictures or images on the page.

What I find most interesting is that the young girl identifies the kittens but creates imaginary scenarios.

For example, one kitten in the book is standing alone outside. The girl says the cat is a “secret agent.” There is another picture of two cats sitting inside of a basket. The girl says the kittens are in Hawaii.

When I look at the images I see something completely different. The first example does not look like an undercover cat. To me, it looks like a cat who just heard a noise and wants to know what or who is behind him. The second example simply looks like two cats in a basket. The background looks nothing like a tropical place or Hawaii.

The point is that each audience member has the ability to interpret images in their own way based on personal experience. Media definitely has the ability to influence social norms, but there are other factors involved in the process.

Not easy being 15!

Even though I'm 20 years old Taylor's Swift's 15 song just hits the right spot. It just gives me butterflies because it  reminds me so much of when I was 15 years old and all the awkward situations and feelings i had to endure back then... I don't even know why I am announcing my love for one of taylor's songs on blogger, I guess in some ways she might want to feel some normalcy by talking to her fans and telling them about her experiences and what she's been though, give them some sort of insight to her life in order to show them that she is normal and that she's approachable. I just feel that she can be a great person to look up to as a young girl; I guess she's one of the few celebrities that are actually using their fame to truly connect with her fans and give them something to look forward to instead of telling them to get drunk and loose control! 

to watch the video:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Justin Bieber…really?

I’m only 21, and already I’ve had a few of those “OMG AM I REALLY THIS OLD?!?!” moments. I had another one of them tonight. While my friend and I were working (I’m a red bull girl, so we were driving in the mini) we drove passed The Rave and saw a HUUUUUGE line – all the way to McDonalds; completely around the block – so we pulled over. In line were hundreds of teeny bopper girls (and some moms and dads too) waiting in line to see Justin Bieber. I had absolutely no clue who this guy (kid) was, so when we left The Rave we turned on Kiss FM, and found out that he’s actually a 15 year old! Apparently I’ve either gotten so old that I don’t even know who the new pop stars are now, or I’ve been living under a rock? I choose to think I’ve been living under a rock.

"Elvis is NOT DEAD!"...I suppose now Michael Jackson isn't either.

It seems that we may still see the King of Pop in future music videos and movies, complete with new dance routines. I'm not talking about just pictures, I'm talking about Michael Jackson '96, before the skin disorder and nose job.

An article was published today (11/12/09) on that revealed 3D scans that were taken of the late pop singer back in 1996. These 3D plans were discovered when "an American Business man tried to sell them off for 1 million euros. The man said that ever since these 3D scans were taken that, "The data has been in our archive and vault since them."

I suppose, why wouldn't you try and make a couple extra bucks from the only 3D scan of the late King of Pop. The scans were original takenfor no other reason other than so Jackson could have a virtual double of himself. Once again, if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I suppose I would purchases just as crazy.

So no, this does not mean we will have a living breathing Michael Jackson singing new songs and recording new albums. But for the hardcore Jackson fans out there, it may be there one shot to sing the King of Pop in action once again. Virtual Michael Jackson is better than no Michael Jackson.

yes we can

I don't know if everyone has seen this video yet, but it has been around since the election. I just saw it this year, it is a collaborative work based off of one of Obama's candidate speeches. I was think about a topic of copy write law and how this video infringes on it,or not at all. I think this is a great example of sampling or remix culture. They took a form of media, Obama's speech, which i think is media in one of its most simplistic forms. Then a variety of artists came together to remake the speech into a song form, that has been used as a viral advertisement during the election campaign. There is a variety of race, gender and age represented in this video all coming together because they are for a common belief, passion and cause; which makes for a very powerful product. I think that this is the kind of political campaigning and advertising that the nation needs when making difficult decisions such as electing an individual to office. The negative attack ads, in my opinion do the opposite of helping voters make an informed decision, but rather they scare voters into voting for a candidate. I just love this speech and video and wanted everyone to experience it. I just thought that you should also see this one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Walmart redefines "Save Money. Live Better."

While surfing my google reader I found a lot of the typical articles that appear from week to week. Articles like "New media buying strategies for Target" or "Droid to trump iPhone" and so forth. Today, well, today was a different story. While scrolling through I saw an article that involved Walmart and caskets. Yes, caskets. Walmart launched a new line of caskets and other funeral supplies last month by Star Legacy. Interesting enough, Walmart is not the first online retailer to start selling coffins online. Amazon and Costco have already hopped the bandwagon. Jessica,  a spokeswoman for the Star Legacy Group notes, "Buying caskets online...brings the risk of a substandard or damaged product that might not be possible to fix or replace in time for a funeral." This risk is just one some may be willing to take in order to save a few bucks.

The fun doesn't stop here. Star Legacy plans to come out with 200 item on which include pet urns and memorial jewelry.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Idiot vs. Food

This is Adam Richman from the show Man vs. Food which airs on Wednesday nights on the Travel Channel. The show is in its second season. Adam will probably not make it to the third season of this ambitious program because he will die of a heart attack. I don't mean to be so negative but this guy is literally going to eat himself into an early grave. He travels all around the country to find in his words, "America's favorite pig out spots." He looks like a pig in this picture.

I admit, I do watch this show. Although, I may be disgusted by the food torture Adam puts himself through. I still watch Man vs. Food faithfully and in amazement. Some of the food challenges he tries to conquer are brutal and less than healthy. He might not be the biggest guy but he sure can eat! It does not matter what type of food it is. He will devour it. Whether it be fried, baked, boiled, or grilled. Adam Richman will eat it all and then some.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Perhaps some of you have heard of the Foundation for a Better Life. If not, let me be the first to say that this non-profit organization is unlike any I have ever heard of before. The Foundation for a Better Life only has one goal and that is to “encourage others to do good.”

This company really interests me because, in a world where most of the media industry aims to secure a profit, it seems this organization truly wants to simply promote positive values. The organization displays its message using only billboards. So far there are 68 values and 49 billboards which promote one value. Each billboard showcases one value that is thought to be beneficial to society. Each billboard also features an image that corresponds with the value. The smallest, least noticeable aspect on the billboard is the organization’s name and website address. In fact, while driving by it, it is hard to see “Foundation for a Better Life.”

The images on the billboards are pictures that represent the value. For example, Michael J. Fox is featured on the billboard with the value of optimism, stating he is “determined to outfox Parkinson’s.” Under “Optimism” the phrase “Pass it on” is legible. The pictures on the billboards range from well-known figures such as Kermit the Frog or Gandhi to inspiring events such as the successful Hudson River plane landing and September 11, 2001, when 3 New York firefighters raised an American flag at Ground Zero.

It is very interesting, yet strange, that this company puts its message before trying to gain corporate awareness and power. If you do end up looking at the website, there is hardly any information about the organization besides information relating to promoting values and, therefore, a better life. The foundation does not even ask for public donations; it is privately funded.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street!

This week I turned 20 years old. I thought that was cool. However, even crazier is twenty years ago this week Sesame Street aired! A classic favorite for children now, and from many decades before them and us, the show has reached the milestone for 40 years on air. It hardly seems real, because before the publicity about this, I thought Sesame Street was a show of my time. I watched Sesame Street, but I can not say it was my favorite. However, President Obama does make a good point about the show in this video. Sesame is an all-American show. It shows good values and morals, and has been a successful part of the media for four decades. I really cannot think of any other show that has been on this long, and still continues to be a success. Sesame Street is more than just a show. I remember seeing Sesame Street on ice. I remember HAVING to have a Tickle Me Elmo, because it was all the rage, even though I was far past the age of playing with a red furry doll that simply laughed when you touched it. Sesame Street draws people in. It is a show parents grew up watch, and it is a show that parents know they want their kids to watch. As President Obama says, it is something that has stayed consistent for a long period of time. Within the media, I feel as that is something that does not happen often. Happy Birthday Sesame Street, you were pretty damn cool when I was a kid, and I guess your pretty damn cool these days too.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Another board game to be a movie, "RISK" is comming to the big screen. For those of you who don't know this game it deals with taking over the world. I feel that it is interesting when board games become movies, but I think it is great for kids because it really brings a board game to life.

Such as the movie Jumanji, which I thought was a great movie, and indeed it became such a big hit on the big screen. On it states, "Sony has aquired the rights to the board game "Risk" known as "the classic board game of world conquest." I wonder what board game will be next after this to become a big hit. Maybe the game of Life? Or possibly Monopoly? I actually think a movie pertaining to the board game Candy Land would be pretty great, and I think that it would attract a large audience. Why is it that board games can become such powerful media texts on the big screen? I think the whole idea of Jumanji lets us basically “live” the game through the movie, which I think the movie “RISK” is going to do also. I just wonder what they will come up with next, I think this kind of goes along with the whole GI Joe thing as well as the whole Pokeman faze where they started a tv series actually called, Pokemon. Also Monopoly could even be tied into these series and movies because Monopoly started a whole game thing at McDonald’s allowing for people to participate and win prizes and play the game through the restaurant. What will be next!

Classic Risk

Air Jordan

For those of you that don't know, Michael Jordan's son, Marcus Jordan, plays college basketball at the University of Central Florida. The school has a contract with Adidas for all its sports, which means everyone has to wear their apparel during games. This is where the problem comes in. Marcus decided he wanted to wear his father's line of shoes, which is an extension of Nike, to games. UCF allegedly got permission from Adidas a month ago for him to do this. Evidently they got directed to the wrong person at Adidas, because the company announced on Monday that they are ending the five-year contract with the school because of Jordan's actions. Adidas officials stated, "The University of Central Florida has chosen not to deliver on their contractual commitment to Adidas. As a result, we have chosen not to continue our relationship with them moving forward."
Jordan's line of shoes are expensive, but the pair Marcus wore Wednesday may be the most expensive yet. Not only did he cost the sports program at UCF a contract deal that will ultimately cost the school money, he cast a negative image on the school as a whole. Honestly, I'm on Marcus' side in this matter. I think it's pretty ridiculous that every player is required to wear one brand of shoes, especially under these circumstances. Marcus is essentially honoring his father, who is arguably the best basketball player of all- time, and Michael deserves that honor. Adidas backing out of their contract opens up a perfect opportunity for Nike, their main competitor, to take over the opening at UCF. For the sake of both parties, I hope Adidas comes to their senses and keeps the contract with the school.

Give me Drugs!

I had an interesting class discussion in my JMC 661 class. I had to do a presentation on health in the media and the way messages are presented.

There are many ethical issues (at least I think so) because most pharmaceutical companies care about is the profit that they make. They design their ads to make people think they are depressed or that there body is under attack. We take the blame away from our lifestyles and blame a "disease." Whether there does a legit disease exist or not, the bottom line is that the ads are very deceiving. I know that advertising is a tool used to promote a product, but shouldn't there be standards and more regulations? I get that pharmaceutical companies and the ad industry aren't the only ones to blame, but they need to take caution and the first steps in framing disease differently. Majority of our society are using one or more prescription drugs. I just think that is healthy. But what can be done? Who is to blame? These are the questions that make this debate difficult because the lines of responsibility are blurry!

One point that I think is valid that alludes to how politics, wealth and power control most decisions is that the three main "sponsors" for a drug-free America were pharmaceutical, tabacco and oil industries. Now, the campaign for a drug-free America has lost pharmaceutical companies because prescription drugs are abused and have been abused more than drugs off the street. YET, the drug-free America campaign failed to campaign against that because they were threatened by pharmaceutcial financial help!!!! These three indsutries are very powerful and control a lot, a lot more than we think they do!! Something to think about?